Players getting legal advice on anchor ban, says Tim Clark
PGA Tour player Tim Clark says "a fair number" of players, including him, are getting legal advice over the ban on anchored putting strokes.
"We do have legal counsel,” said Clark at the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial in Fort Worth, Texas. "We're going to explore our options. We're not going to just roll over and accept this."
Clark didn’t specify who the other players seeking legal counsel were. But he said they were exploring their legal options and felt the comment period was "all smoke and mirrors."
R&A Chief Executive Peter Dawson shared his concern that some players could file lawsuits when the R&A and USGA announced the anchor ban on Tuesday.
"I very much hope not," said Dawson. "I don't think lawsuits will be on particularly strong ground. We are not so sure of ourselves that you can always be sure you're going to be right, but we have certainly done our homework on this one, far more than anything else in my time at the R&A."
Clark, who won the 2010 Players Championship, considers his future in golf uncertain now that the anchoring ban is officially going forward.
''Obviously, now I guess, our tactics have to change,'' Clark told the Associated Press. ''We obviously during that period tried to reason with the USGA and the R&A and come to some sort of a favorable decision for ourselves. We're just trying to come to a fair and just decision that obviously has a great affect a lot on our careers and futures in the game.''
The PGA Tour and PGA of America contend that the stroke commonly used for long putters wasn't hurting the game and there was no statistical proof that it was an advantage.
Clark, the 37-year-old South African who has five wins worldwide, changed from a conventional putter halfway through college because of a congenital problem with his arms that caused discomfort holding the short putter close to his body.
''There's been a lot of sleepless nights,'' Clark said. ''A year ago, my future in the game, I could see it. I planned to play until I physically no longer could play. Now it's a case of I've been told no, hang on, that might change. You're going to change the way you putt here in a few years' time and now my future is uncertain.''
Clark believes that his method of putting has been an option since the game was invented and that changing the rule now makes no sense.
For people who talk about anchored putting going against golf tradition, Clark counters, ''Well, why aren't we playing hickory shafts and a feathery golf ball and having a goat carry our golf bag? I mean, the game has evolved, every generation of players has involved.''
The Associated Press contributed to this post.